It’s My Melon That’s The Problem

We woke up, groggy from eleven hours sleep, and went on the hunt for brekkie. The omelette we found was only $3 (god I love it here) but it tasted slightly odd, and I felt rather queasy again. Having got a taste of the biker lifestyle, we were desperate to rent one again, paying $15 this time as we were sensible (unheard of) and actually got insurance. We left our two friends happily by the pool, and crawled at a snail’s pace through the bustling streets of Kuta. We stopped at various stands, but they were too touristy and we had to pay for parking (!). The novelty soon wore off and we both felt the need to escape the mayhem and go somewhere quieter and less hectic. The obvious solution to this was to just drive in no given direction, not knowing where the hell we were. We saw signs for Seminyak, so we must’ve been somewhere near there, and then signs for Tanah Lot Temple, and on a whim we decided to follow those.

It was hot and we needed sustenance, water, and petrol, so we filled our tank for 80 cents from petrol in an Absolut vodka bottle on the side of the road (I’d previously thought the yellow looking substance was ‘arak’, so I was relieved). We then stopped by a fruit stand and bought a huge watermelon, a melon, a mango, a dragon fruit, weird swirly biscuit things and  crisp things for a grand total of $4! (we got the latter two items as we wanted to be authentic). You’d pay at least £5 for a watermelon that size back home. As usual, we hadn’t thought this through, and we had barely any space on the bike, what with our two towels and sarongs we’d bought. We managed to cram the watermelon, the dragon fruit and the mango into the bike, and the crisps into our bags, but we were left with the melon posing a problem. I had to resort to carrying it on the back of the bike like a local (actually a true local would have been carryingabout forty melons, balanced precariously somehow).

IMG_6290Our moods had improved, and we felt like intrepid travellers as opposed to annoying tourists once again. What a relief. We tried to follow the signs to Tanah Lot (I misheard my friend and thought she said she wanted to ‘tan a lot’ – very amusing I know), but they were few and far between. Once again, we hoped for the best, and drove aimlessly. Somehow, we found the place, but once we’d paid and parked our bike, we couldn’t find the actual temple! After a good few minutes of wandering around, we located the elusive temple, and my god it was beautiful. We enthusiastically dug into our authentic Balinese snacks- I’d forgotten about the spice problem, and promptly chucked them away- but the swirly biscuit things were a great success.

We then realised that we weren’t actually at the famous temple, and made our way down, being harassed by vendors yet again. This temple was even more stunning, and we had to cross a section of water which had a pretty strong current to get to the temple to get blessed. We turned around when we realised you had to pay to get blessed (pretty against the whole nature of religion, huh?), and wandered down the beach instead.

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Once we’d had our dose of culture, we wanted to find a secluded beach to crack open and devour our fruit. When we’d had no luck after forty minutes, we figured a café would suffice, and ordered $1.50 Oreo milkshakes. Total bliss. We then cracked open the melon and the watermelon on the kerb, and greedily ate it, juice running everywhere. God knows what we’d’ve done if we hadn’t had a spoon. Then, as if on cue, Adam Levine’s Lost Stars started blaring out (one of my Perth anthems) and I picked up the guitar lying in the café and started playing along. It was one of those movie moments, and I felt indescribably happy and epic (I’m allowed to be cliché once in a while). We heavily tipped the guy, and set off, hoping for the best. Suddenly we were on the highway, and my god it was terrifying! We were speeding along at sixty miles an hour, with minimal skin cover, and all I could think about was the impact of the tarmac on my bare skin… We distracted ourselves from our fear by screaming Lost Stars into the traffic, and got some weird looks. We’d already got some pretty strange looks though- two white girls amongst a sea of indonesians, zooming around with a melon and brightly coloured sarongs. We must’ve stuck out like a sore thumb.

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We were craving some more of those spirally biscuits, and stopped by a stall in search of them. They only sold them in packs of four (what an outrage!), and like the greedy gals we are, we bought out the entire store of them. The stall owner was rather bemused. Having found our way back rather too soon, we decided to explore Seminyak. It was hideously expensive and flashy (by Bali’s standards), so we weren’t particularly interested. We had however been told by countless people to check out ‘Potato Head’, and we stumbled across it by chance. It was loud, touristy, and everything we hated, although the infinity pool was rather tempting. We thought we were beyond all the glitz and glam and $12 cocktails (although maybe we’re just stuck up tourists) and chose to lie on the beach instead.

Getting hungry yet again, we wandered around and found some 50 cents bundles of meat and rice wrapped in banana leaves. We thought we’d embrace the authentic lifestyle, and found a grassy spot on the side of the road, which turned out to actually be someone’s garage. We tore open the banana leaves hungrily, forgetting the problem we had with spice, and promptly downed a good litre of water to soothe our burning lips. We figured that the remaining half of the melon, the mango and the dragonfruit would hopefully neutralise the spice, and wolfed them down, along with the second batch of swirly things. All through this, a thoroughly amused man had watched us through the window of a nearby house, literally laughing out loud at two tourists sitting in a garage, tearing open fruit with our bare hands. But all in all, it was a very satisfactory dinner which cost us approximately $2.50, but we later realised we’d been sitting nearly right on top on a pile of dog shit! Oh dear.

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On the way back we got incredibly lost, but we zoomed around the streets of Seminyak really not caring at all. At one point, we tried to turn back the way we’d come, and ended up in a makeshift police station, with ten confused looking police officers staring at us as we attempted a U-turn. Luckily, they pointed us in the right direction, we soon found our way back to the hotel. We wanted to find a nearby fruit stall for breakfast the following morning, as apparently we weren’t allowed fruit into the hotel (there was a shifty looking security guy lurking by the door), so stupidly we carried on past the hotel…before realising the road was one way. Twenty minutes later, we still hadn’t re-found the hotel, so we stopped for some wifi and a cider, before reuniting with the others.

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